Controversy over killing of alleged armed robber at Tema

Mr. John Kudalor

Mr. John Kudalor

The killing of a young man identified as Kwame, a taxi driver, by the police on Saturday afternoon at Tema Community five, has sparked controversy on the actual cause of death.

While the Tema Regional Police Command say the deceased was an armed robber, some residents of the area claim he was an innocent man, who died out of negligence on the part of the security personnel.

The Tema police is alleging that he was part of a gang of five, who had committed robberies and engaged the police in a shootout at an improvised shooting range, where the gang practises, leading to his death.

However, executives of the One Accord Residents Association, at Church Village in the Railway electoral area, Kwame, was a former resident of the place, who had visited his friends, but excused himself to respond to nature’s call in the bush.

The Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police, (DCOP) Paul Manly Awini, told the media that his outfit had identified a private shooting range in Tema where a gang of youngmen allegedly rehearse shooting with plastic bottles as targets.

He said Kwame lost his life at the shooting range in question in an alleged exchange of gunfire between the police and the gang.

Meanwhile, the chairman for the residents association, Mr. Edward Papa Akorful, said the deceased, who attended a funeral on Saturday morning at Klagon near Tema, excused himself to respond to nature’s call.

He said the friends heard gunshots and they realised the deceased had been shot by the police, who alleged that he was an armed robber, and appealed to human rights activists to investigate the matter to unearth the truth.

The secretary of the residents association, Nana Akyea, said that the residents of the area had heard sounds of gunshots, but ignored the sound because they thought they were sounds from firecrackers.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Tema Regional Police Command, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Juliana Obeng, told journalists on Saturday  that the police shot and killed a suspected robbery,and arrested two others while two men are at large.

She said the gang besieged  Sentuo Steel Limited, a steel manufacturing company in Tema, at about 2am, attacked private security guards on duty and residents, and took away an unspecified amount of money, mobile phones, ipads, computer laptops and other valuables.

ASP Obeng said after the robbery, the police received information at about 4pm (afternoon) that five young men were rehearsing at an improvised shooting range at Ramseyer Site at Tema Community Three.

She said when the police went there the five persons opened fire upon seeing the police and the police returned fire resulting in the death of one person, arrest of two others while two others escaped.

ASP Obeng said a search at the scene revealed 72 empty cartridges, a short gun and empty plastic bottles, ostensibly used as targets for their rehearsal, and urged the public to report persons with gunshot wounds to the police.

 From Dzifa Tetteh,Tema.

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